The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA), in collaboration with our State Leadership Team and local and statewide partners, is excited to propose our DELTA AHEAD project: Improving health and safety for all Alaskans by addressing inequities that contribute to disproportionate rates of IPV and other violence for targeted populations including Alaska Native, youth and women. This opportunity allows us to go upstream in our efforts to reduce the high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) we face, where we can shift the environments that allow this violence to continue. These environments are marked by inequitable access to conditions needed for health and safety as seen in the domains of social determinants of health (SDoH), including 1) Economic Stability, 2) Neighborhood and Built Environment, and 3) Social and Community Context. These three SDoH domains were identified using a range of state data as the most influential on the risk and protective factors for IPV and other forms of violence in Alaska.
The purpose of our DELTA AHEAD project is to further identify, monitor and impact specific SDoH within these domains to reduce risk factors of and bolster protective factors against violence, with the ultimate goal of reducing rates of IPV and other forms of violence in our state. We appreciate the chance to propose a project that not only looks at the root causes of violence, including discrimination, racism, and biases, but asks us to name, include in, and focus our efforts on populations that are disproportionately impacted by IPV in Alaska. These individuals and communities have long been targeted, underserved, and have carried the burden of social and structural inequities that must be addressed for our high rates of violence to see any meaningful reduction.
In order to achieve this purpose, Alaska’s DELTA AHEAD project will use the public health model to work towards short and intermediate outcomes facilitating change locally and statewide, including increased collaboration, increased access to and use of relevant data, increased national-level networking, increased knowledge of, capacity for and implementation of primary prevention within our own coalition and 23 member programs, especially at the community and societal levels of the social ecology. Additional outcomes include increased understanding of and impact on IPV-related risk and protective factors, increased evaluation of primary prevention programs and policy efforts (PPEs) and increased implementation of and data monitoring related to IPV prevention strategies that promote racial and health equity across communities and the state.
Three examples of these PPEs are proposed in Alaska’s DELTA AHEAD project, to be implemented in partnership with two Alaskan communities: Sitka and Juneau and statewide. Two of the PPEs are innovative, Alaska-based, promising programs which specifically reach and include disproportionally impacted populations, including the Youth Leadership and Peer Education program and the place-based afterschool program I Toowú Klatseen, while the third is a local and state level policy effort to strengthen work-family supports impacting the third disparately affected population of focus: women.
By connecting efforts to improve school climate and safety, engage men and boys, and strengthen economic supports for families through DELTA AHEAD, ANDVSA and our partners can deepen our 15 years of primary prevention work, focusing on the outer layers of the social ecology, where sustainable change is more likely to occur. This project will allow us to continue to build capacity in the many Alaskan communities working to prevent violence, so that change ripples upward, while working at the statewide policy level to also push change down. We look forward to this opportunity to address the SDoH that influence IPV in the state, creating the conditions needed for the the health, safety and thriving of all Alaskans.